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comparison of file size and device/cloud support for lossy formats?
bigidiot
post Dec 11 2012, 19:17
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Hi, there, I'm writing several long pieces about music collecting and am writing a section about the lossy formats.

There's a lot of material already out there, but there are two subjects I haven't seen good coverage of:

how do the file sizes of the lossy formats compare? Has someone made some kind of table or reference for that?

How does support for these lossy formats differ by device and music player and streaming services?

About question number one, I realize that it can boil down to transparency and when each lossy format achieves it. http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?title=Transparent and http://wiki.hydrogenaudio.org/index.php?ti..._the_best_codec
Also, I realize I could probably spend an hour or two with dbpoweramp to do some conversions to compare file sizes; has anyone already done that?

About devices and players I suspect most of them support all the codecs (with some outliers). Linux only supports oggs out of the box, WMP doesn't natively support ogg. Are there any other general rules of thumb for device/codec incompatibility that are worth mentioning?

I'd be particularly curious about which music cloud locker services support which. Imagine my rude awakening when I learned that Amazon's music locker service will not accept OGG uploads unless they have identified the ogg as a song which Amazon already sells digitally. With mp3s, even if Amazon doesn't recognize or sell it, it will at least let you upload and stream that format. Not the case with Ogg. (Google Play thankfully will accept just about everything and transcode it to mp3 320bps).

I'd appreciate any help you can give me on these questions.

Update: I see that Wikipedia has a good table http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_audio_formats Full of information, yet it doesn't provide a lot of practical insight about file size or device support.

This post has been edited by bigidiot: Dec 11 2012, 19:49
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julf
post Dec 11 2012, 20:27
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QUOTE (bigidiot @ Dec 11 2012, 19:17) *
Linux only supports oggs out of the box


Uh... Linux is an operating system. As an operating system, it supports any file format. There are players for Linux for most formats, but sometimes there are limitations because of silly licensing rules of some of the codecs.

On the wikipedia page you link to there is a table for Audio Codec Operating System Support. You might notice it says "Yes" for all the codecs in the Linux column...

This post has been edited by julf: Dec 11 2012, 20:30
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DVDdoug
post Dec 11 2012, 20:49
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QUOTE
how do the file sizes of the lossy formats compare?
Since bitrate is kilobits per second, you can convert bits to bytes and seconds to minutes and estimate the file size of any audio video format follows:

File Size in MB = (Bitrate in kbps x Playing Time in minutes) / 140

(With variable bitrate formats, you may not know the average bitrate in advance, and with some formats, you select a "quality" and the encoder chooses the actual moment-to-moment bitrate required.)

QUOTE
How does support for these lossy formats differ by device and music player and streaming services?
Just about any player can play MP3 and AAC. Otherwise, it's hit-and-miss. If you "standardize" on a less-popular format, its a good idea to keep a lossless archive in case you switch players at some time in the future.

QUOTE
Linux only supports oggs out of the box,
That's because if you distribute an MP3 or AAC CODEC, you are supposed to pay royalties. So, you can't legally include the CODECs in the open source distribution. (LAME is an open source MP3 encoder, but if you distribute the compiled version you are supposed to pay.)

This post has been edited by DVDdoug: Dec 11 2012, 20:55
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bigidiot
post Dec 11 2012, 22:05
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1. Yes, I know that Linux can support mp3 (and it does support those codecs and ubuntu makes it a lot less painful to do). I merely meant that mp3s are not supported out of the box (although I suppose that you can say that Windows doesn't support it out of the box either because they need to purchase a license to use the libraries). I promise you, I wasn't knocking Linux here!

2. Thanks for the conversion formula. I suppose that VBR would be the only thing I'd be encoding in, so one general formula may not particularly apply.

By the way, I'm somewhat anti-Apple although I've heard good things about AAC -- and that Amazon rule about not allowing uploads of ogg files to their music locker/streamer is a big reason to switch from using ogg to aac as my preferred lossy format.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/dis...#importingmusic
MP3 and AAC (.m4a) files that are not matched will be uploaded to Cloud Player. Music that is not matched and is in a format other than MP3 or AAC cannot be imported to Cloud Player. In some cases, this may cause only part of an album's song list to be matched and delivered to your Cloud Player....
Note: Non-MP3 and Non-AAC files that are not matched and cannot be uploaded can be converted to either MP3 or AAC (.m4a) using your computers default media player. Once converted, these files can be uploaded using the Amazon Music Importer. Please see your default media player's Help for instructions.

I have flac copies of everything, so I'm not REALLY worried about this, but can I use dbpowerAmp and FooBar2000 to do all my flac-to-AAC conversions without ever having to open itunes? Let me see, mp3tag supports editing of aac, what else am I forgetting?

Thanks.

This post has been edited by bigidiot: Dec 11 2012, 22:09
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DonP
post Dec 11 2012, 22:39
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QUOTE (bigidiot @ Dec 11 2012, 16:05) *
1. Yes, I know that Linux can support mp3 (and it does support those codecs and ubuntu makes it a lot less painful to do). I merely meant that mp3s are not supported out of the box (although I suppose that you can say that Windows doesn't support it out of the box either because they need to purchase a license to use the libraries). I promise you, I wasn't knocking Linux here!


Windows includes an MP3 license as part of the OS. One of the advantages of a paid-for operating system.

QUOTE
I have flac copies of everything, so I'm not REALLY worried about this, but can I use dbpowerAmp and FooBar2000 to do all my flac-to-AAC conversions without ever having to open itunes? Let me see, mp3tag supports editing of aac, what else am I forgetting?
.


Foobar doesn't seem to copy imbedded cover art when converting, but you can tell it to copy jpg art from source to destination directories.
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saratoga
post Dec 11 2012, 23:48
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QUOTE (bigidiot @ Dec 11 2012, 17:05) *
1. Yes, I know that Linux can support mp3 (and it does support those codecs and ubuntu makes it a lot less painful to do). I merely meant that mp3s are not supported out of the box (although I suppose that you can say that Windows doesn't support it out of the box either because they need to purchase a license to use the libraries).


Lots of commercially shipped linux systems support mp3. Its nonsense to say that linux does or does not support something since any vendor can choose to support whatever they want.
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